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RAP opportunity at Naval Research Laboratory     NRL

Energy Migration in DNA-organized Dye Networks


Naval Research Laboratory, DC, Electronics Science & Technology Division

opportunity location
64.15.25.C0868 Washington, DC 203755321


name email phone
Paul David Cunningham 202-767-4892


The objective of this research effort is to understand the exciton dynamics and energy transfer within dye networks organized by and on DNA scaffolds.

Our work is multidisciplinary. Teams members synthesize dyes (e.g., modified cyanines) as well as DNA sequences and construct dye-labeled DNA origami networks. A wide range of instruments are employed to characterize these materials: chromatography, absorbance, photoluminescence, circular dichroism. 

Our group is interested in the delocalization of excitons and energy migrations throughout these dye netoworks. Our research topics include:

  • Energy transfer within the FRET and Coherent limits
  • Vibronic coupling and exciton delocalization within dye dimers and aggregates
  • Suppression of quenching mechanisms

Our Laser Lab is used to interrogate these systems with a variety of static and time-resolved spectroscopic techniques. Our facility includes fluorescence, fluorescence excitation spectra, emission lifetimes
via time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC)femptosecond transient absorption spectroscopy, cryostats compatible with time-resolved setups, etc.

Qualified candidates should possess or be completing a PhD in physics, chemistry, or related discipline with experience in time-resolved spectroscopy. Ultrafast spectroscopy or multidimensional spectroscopy a plus, as is familiarity with photophysics in molecular systems, organic semiconductors, or other excitonic systems.


Recent publications:

Cunningham, et al., J. Phys. Chem. B. 124, 8042 (2020) – doubly excited states in J-dimers

Sohail, et al., Chem Sci 11, 8546 (2020) – 2DES of Vibronic Coherences
Cunningham, et al., Adv. Opt. Mater. 9, 2100884 (2021) – Comparing interacting vs redundant FRET pathways 

key words
DNA Origami, FRET, excitons, vibronic, dimers, aggregates, coherence, spectroscopy, time-resolved


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$94,199.00 $3,000.00
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